[Nishi-ku] Mineral Hot Spring Heated with Firewood! "Hira Onsen"

[Nishi-ku] Mineral Hot Spring Heated with Firewood! "Hira Onsen"

Since opening in 1939,"Hira Onsen" has continued to be loved by local people. Since its founding, the company has been particular about wood-burning fires, and the third generation, Kazuyuki Kamiya, continues this tradition.

In addition, the hot water is mineral hot spring (radon hot spring) watered with radium ore, and is reputed that "you won't feel chilly after taking a bath". If you like public baths, you will not want to miss this place!

Mineral hot springs with a different texture

Hira Onsen is located in the Hira district of Nishi Ward, the northernmost part of Nagoya. It has an impressive old-fashioned appearance with a towering chimney.

A clean changing area. There is also a "totonoi chair" perfect for a post-sauna rest.

There are six types of bathtubs, including a bubbling bath and a sleeping bath, as well as a far-infrared ray sauna, and the hot water has been burned by wood since the establishment of the spa.

Furthermore, all the hot water used is mineral hot spring water (radon hot spring) that has been passed through radium ore, and has a reputation for "not feeling chilly after taking a bath".

The sauna is located on the side of the changing room that exits the bathroom. Available for additional 230 yen

The sauna, which is another interesting feature, was fully renovated in 2022! It is made of Japanese cypress, which is a very luxurious construction.

When we asked about it later, we were informed that it was built by a former shrine carpenter. There are many saunas in Japan, but there are not so many saunas made of hinoki cypress that were built by shrine carpenters.

The temperature of the sauna room seems to vary slightly depending on the number of users, but it is set at 108 degrees. Although it is a strong dry sauna, there is no discomfort due to dryness, probably due to the natural humidity control effect of the cypress wood. Good job!

The water bath is set at around 15 degrees. Of course, it is passed through water using radium ore, so it feels nice to the touch. The water was just the right temperature for me, not too cold and not too warm, so I stayed in it for quite a while.

Bath towels and sauna mats given to sauna users

Another great point is that you can rent an empty-handed set that includes soap, conditioner-in-shampoo, and 2 rental towels for an additional 100 yen! You can stop by whenever you feel like it

In addition, large bath towels and sauna mats are provided to sauna users. It may be a rare service to rent individual sauna mats.

There are also privileges unique to women! Ion steamers are installed in the women's changing rooms and can be used freely. In addition, a Pearl Essential Mask (usually 100 yen) is included for female sauna users! Female sauna users have no choice but to go straight to Hira Onsen with its excellent service!

A third generation’s commitment to wood-burning

After taking a bath, I was able to talk to Kazuyuki Kamiya, the third generation owner. When I told them that the hot water had a nice texture and the comfort was outstanding...

Mr. Kamiya: "After all, the secret to the mellowness of the bath is that it is heated with wood. Customers who have been to many different public baths seem to know immediately that it is a 'bath heated with wood'. Another feature of the bath is that it doesn't get cold easily after leaving the bath, and I think people will especially appreciate this in the winter."

Mr. Kamiya lights firewood in the boiler room. It is surprising that nearly 1 ton of firewood is used in winter.

Before taking over this public bath, Mr. Kamiya worked as a boiler mechanic at a maintenance company. Compared to boiling water with a boiler, boiling water with firewood seems to be more difficult.

Still, he says, "As the owners of the public bathhouses are getting older, there are fewer public bathhouses that burn wood. I'm still physically able to do it, so I'm going to continue doing it for as long as I can."

This is what a public bath should be like!
Community space

A great thing about Hira Onsen is that they sell a lot of juices and beers, and you can relax after taking a bath. Especially for people from Kyushu (in fact, there are many in Aichi prefecture), the familiar "yoguruppe" and retro bottled juices give a sense of nostalgia.

Hira Onsen is a fun place for children, with lottery and sweets services.

"There are a lot of children here. They drink juice and eat ice cream, and it has become a place of community among children. Parents seem to think that they can let their children play safely at Hira Onsen. Above all, children today do not have many opportunities to interact with adults other than their parents. I think the bathhouse is a place for children to learn how to socialize," says Mr. Kamiya.

"Duck Bath" is held on the last Saturday of every month. Approximately 500 (!) ducks are floating, making it very popular with children.

"Recently, the sauna boom has made the appeal of bathhouses more appealing to the younger generation," says Mr. Kamiya. As the third generation of a public bath that has been in operation for many years, Mr. Kamiya is experiencing firsthand the expansion of the customer base.

We often hear that a public bath is a place for the local community, and Hira Onsen is a public bath that embodies this image. It has become an indispensable place for all generations.

Spot Details

[Hira Onsen]
Address : 337 Kiyosato-cho, Nishi-ku, Nagoya-shi, Aichi, Japan
Phone number : 052-501-8002
Parking : Available
web : http://www17.plala.or.jp/nagoya-hiraonsen/
X (formerly Twitter): @hiraonsen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hiraonsen/

An editor and writer living in Nagoya. He writes articles in various genres, focusing on travel, gourmet, hot springs, and leisure. In particular, domestic travel is his life's work, and he explores every corner of the country. He looks forward to encountering delicious local ingredients. Since he likes to drink while traveling, he basically travels by train. He doesn't mind harsh trips using the "Seishun 18 Kippu". He is also qualified as a “Sauna/Spa Health Advisor” and frequently visits sauna facilities and super public baths.

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